MSDC Joins AMA, AAP DC on Amicus Supporting Minor Consent for Vaccines Law August 9, 2021
Written by MSDC Staff
On Friday, a coalition of health and advocacy organizations filed an amicus brief in a case challenging the District's new law permitting minors in some cases to consent to vaccinations.
The case, Mazur v. District of Columbia Department of Health, challenges the applicability of the Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act of 2020. This law - which was supported by MSDC - permits physicians to vaccinate minors over the age of 11 without parental consent if the minor displays an understanding of the vaccine, and the vaccine is on the ACIP schedule for the minor. The plaintiff sued the District alleging his minor daughter sought a vaccine without his consent at a DC medical facility, and this conflicts with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.
The law has a number of safeguards built in to protect the minor from what is essentially one of the safest medical procedures available. MSDC supported this legislation because there are multiple reasons a minor may seek vaccination without a parent present - the parent may not be able to take the minor to an appointment, the minor may be homeless without parental involvement, or the parent may have an illogical opposition to vaccines. The law creates a process where the minor can still be vaccinated if they are aware of the vaccine, possible side effects, and health implications.
MSDC supported this legislation and celebrated its passage because it allows minors to be vaccinated without an undue burden on the patient or physician. MSDC joins the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), AAP DC chapter, and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. The brief was written by the Democracy Forward Foundation.